As smoking rates decline, tobacco manufacturers are finding new ways to recruit new users, especially children, and to discourage current users from quitting. A new report issued by a coalition of public health organizations outlined how tobacco companies are able to design and market new tobacco products due to a lack of government regulation.
A few of the trends highlighted in the report include; the flavoring of tobacco products to resemble pleasant tastes, the marketing of smokeless tobacco products to smokers as ways to feed their habit in the places where they cannot smoke, and undisclosed product designs including the inclusion of ammonia in cigarettes to increase efficiency of nicotine absorption.
Currently, bipartisan legislation is pending before Congress that, if passed, would give the FDA the authority to ban candy-flavored cigarettes, require changes in tobacco products, and restrict tobacco advertising, among other things.
“The bottom line is that tobacco companies continue to put our children at greater risk for heart disease and stroke with shady marketing and product design. Wishful thinking won’t change that, but the FDA regulation of tobacco products will,” says M. Cass Wheeler, CEO of the American Heart Association.
The full report was issued by: the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Hearth Association, the American Lung Association, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, it can be found at tobaccofreekids.org.